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									     Chapter 8


Problems in Education
Chapter Outline

 The Global Context: Cross-cultural Variations In
  Education
 Sociological Theories of Education
 Who Succeeds? The Inequality of Educational
  Attainment
 Problems In The American Educational System
 Strategies For Action: Trends And Innovations In
  American Education
 Understanding Problems in Education
Cross-Cultural Variation In
Education
 Worldwide:
   – Over 100 million children have little or no
     access to schools.
   – Over 860 million adults are illiterate.
 In 2001 all countries, except the Russian
  Commonwealth, had close to universal
  participation in formal education for youths 5
  to 14 years of age.
Comparison of Education: U.S.
and Other Developed Nations
 In 2001, 64% of U.S. children ages 3 to 5
  years were enrolled in preprimary or primary
  education, a rate higher than all the other
  nations except Canada.
 Only England scored higher than the U.S. in a
  comparison of reading literacy among fourth
  graders.
Comparison of Education: U.S.
and Other Developed Nations
   In 2001:
     – Enrollment of 17-year-olds in secondary schools
       was 75% in the United States, lower than that of
       Canada, Germany, and Japan at 90%.
     – Almost 25% of 18- to 29-year-olds in the U.S.
       were enrolled in colleges or universities, the
       highest enrollment rate of the nations studied.
Estimated Illiteracy Rates by
Region and Gender, 2000
Unemployment Rate of Individuals
25 Years or Older by Highest Level
of Education, 2005
Structural-Functional Perspective

   Education serves important functions:
    – Instruction
    – Socialization
    – Sorting individuals into various statuses
    – Custodial care
Conflict Perspective

 Educational institution solidifies class
  positions and allows the elite to control the
  masses.
 Quality education and educational
  opportunities are not equally distributed.
 Education provides indoctrination into the
  capitalist ideology.
   – Cultural imperialism - Indoctrination into
     the dominant culture of a society.
Conflict Perspective

Education perpetuates racial inequality:
 Gross inequalities between poor districts and
  middle-and upper-class districts.
 Schools in poor districts have inadequate
  facilities, materials, and personnel.
 The richest school districts spend 56% more
  per pupil than the poorest school districts.
Symbolic Interactionist
Perspective
   Concerned with the individual and small-
    group issues in education:
     – Teacher-student interactions
     – Student self-esteem
     – Self-fulfilling prophecy - Occurs when
       people act in a manner consistent with the
       expectations of others.
The Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Rosenthal and Jacobson experiment:
 Five random elementary school students
  were labeled as having superior intelligence
  and ability.
 Teachers expected them to do well and
  treated them in a way that encouraged better
  school performance.
Question

   According to conflict theorists, what is the
    socialization function of education?
      A. Indoctrination into a capitalist ideology.
      B. All of these choices.
      C. Promoting awareness for cultural
          diversity.
      D. Teaching students to respect authority.
Answer: A

   According to conflict theorists, the
    socialization function of education is
    Indoctrination into a capitalist ideology.
Question

   Do you think the government is spending too
    little, just the right amount or too much on
    improving the nation's education system?
         A. Too little
         B. Just right
         C. Too much
GSS National Data

   Age         <30    30-49   50 and up


 Too little   73.2%   75.5%    63.3%


 Just right   23.9    19.4       29


Too much       2.9     5.1       7.6
Highest Level of Education:
Individuals 25 and Older, 2002
Question

   How far do you intend to go in school?
      A. Two years of college
      B. Four years of college
      C. Master's degree
      D. Professional degree (law, medicine,
         dentistry)
      E. Ph.D.
Revenues for Public Elementary
and Secondary Education: 2002–2003
Reasons for Lower Educational
Achievement
 Low-income parents are less likely to expect
  their children to go to college.
 Low-income parents are less likely to be
  involved with child’s education.
 Low-income parents are often themselves
  low academic achievers.
Question

   What is the highest level of education
    completed by your mother?
      A. Below high school
      B. High school graduate
      C. Some college or postsecondary
         training
      D. College degree
      E. Graduate or professional degree
      F. Don't know
Question

   What is the highest level of education
    completed by your father?
      A. Below high school
      B. High school graduate
      C. Some college or postsecondary
         training
      D. College degree
      E. Graduate or professional degree
      F. Don't know
Race and Ethnicity

 In 2003, 41% of white fourth graders were
  reading at grade level, compared to 15% of
  Hispanics and 13% of blacks.
 Because race and ethnicity are closely tied to
  socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity alone
  can determine school success.
 Some educators advocate bilingual
  education, teaching children in English and
  in their native language.
Educational Attainment by Race,
Ethnicity, and Sex, 1970 and 2003
4 or more years of           1970             2003
   high school       Males     Females   Males Females
      White           54          55     84.5     85.7
      Black          30.1        32.5    79.6     80.3
    Hispanic         37.9        34.2    56.3     57.8
     Asian           NA           NA     89.5      86
     Total           51.9        52.8    84.1      85
Educational Attainment by Race,
Ethnicity, and Sex, 1970 and 2003
4 years of college           1970             2003
     or more         Males     Females   Males Females
     White           14.4         8.4    29.4     25.9
     Black            4.2         4.6    16.7     17.8
    Hispanic          7.8         4.3    11.2     11.6
     Asian           NA           NA     53.9     46.1
     Total           13.5         8.1    28.9     25.7
Racial Composition of Schools Attended
by the Average Student of Each Race,
2002–2003
Race in Each                                 Native
               White   Black Latino Asian
  School                                    American
   White        78      30    28     45       44
   Black        9       54    12     12        7
   Latino       8       13    54     20        11
   Asian        3       3      5     22        2
  Native
                1       1      1      1       36
 American
Question

   Which of the following is not true regarding social
    class, family background, and education?
       A. Disadvantaged parents are less involved in
            their children's education.
       B. Disproportionately, children from low income
            families do not go to college.
       C. Low income families are less likely to take
            their children to museums and zoos.
       D. Working class parents do not value the
            education of their children.
Answer: D

   It is not true that working class parents do
    not value the education of their children.
Functional Illiteracy

 Inability to read basic signs or maps,
  complete simple forms, or carry out many of
  the tasks that require reading.
 Functionally illiterate adults are
  disproportionately poor, older than age 55,
  uneducated, and members of racial or ethnic
  minority groups.
Dropout Rates for 15- to
24-year-olds Who Dropped Out
of Grades 10–12, by Family Income
Violence in the Schools

 Students at school between the ages of 12
  and 18 were the victims of 1.9 million crimes
  in 2002.
 Theft accounts for 64% of the total crimes
  against students.
 Annually, on the basis of a 5 year average,
  teachers were the victims of approximately
  90,000 violent crimes, including rape, sexual
  assault, aggravated and simple assault, and
  robbery.
Innovations In American
Education
 Charter schools
  – Originate in contracts, or charters, which
    state a plan of instruction that must be
    approved by local or state authorities.
 School vouchers
  – Tax credits used for public or private
    school that parents select.
Quick Quiz
1. Which society of these 8-- US, Canada,
   France, Germany, Italy, Japan, USSR, UK--
   has the highest rate of university graduates?
     A. Japan
     B. US
     C. UK
     D. Germany
Answer: B

   The U.S. has the highest rate of university
    graduates.
2. What is the function of education, as
   examined by structural functionalism?
     A. Teaching students knowledge and
        skills.
     B. Teaching students to respect authority.
     C. Socializing youth into the dominant
        culture.
     D. All of these choices.
Answer: A

   Teaching students knowledge and skills
    is the function of education, as examined by
    structural functionalism.
3.   Ms. Gardener has defined Julian as an "at
     risk" student. Julian has been moved to a
     lower level reading group and is not called
     on to participate in class discussions. The
     next month's report card shows that
     Julian's test scores have slipped. What
     symbolic interactionist idea is this an
     example of?
       A. dramaturgy
       B. looking glass self
       C. impression management
       D. self-fulfilling prophecy
Answer: D

   This an example of self-fulfilling prophecy.

								
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